Osborne’s budget for families
GEORGE Osborne will seek to show he is on the side of hard-pressed families today as he delivers his Budget amid a grim economic backdrop.
The Chancellor is expected to speed up progress towards a £10,000 tax-free personal allowance, delay or even scrap a fuel duty hike scheduled for the autumn, and abolish the so-called beer tax.
But the financial package is set to be dominated by questions of how to revive the ailing economy, with the Office for Budget Responsibility likely to downgrade growth forecasts and predict sharply higher borrowing.
RAF flies in cash for Cyprus Brits
A PLANE carrying one million euro (£852,600) has touched down in Cyprus as part of a “contingency measure” to help troops and their families.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the RAF flight will provide people with emergency loans in the event that cash machines and debit cards stop working completely.
The MoD stressed it was determined to minimise the impact of the Cyprus banking crisis on “our people” and it will consider further shipments if required.
Iraq detainee to speak at inquiry
AN Iraqi detainee who was allegedly mistreated by British troops is to give evidence at a public inquiry today - on the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.
Madhi Kassim Abdullah will give evidence at the long-awaited Al-Sweady Public Inquiry.
He is one of 15 Iraqis travelling to the UK for the hearing, which is looking into claims UK soldiers mistreated and killed detainees after the “Battle of Danny Boy” in May 2004.
Girl, six, dies in canal
A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl has died after falling into a canal with two other children, police have said.
The three children fell into the water near Springfield Park in Kidderminster shortly before 6.20pm yesterday.
West Mercia Police said they understand two of the children managed to get themselves out of the canal but the third child was in the water for some time before being rescued.
Cold threat to hibernating species
THE late arrival of spring could hit wild creatures which hibernate such as bats and hedgehogs, conservationists have warned.
The cold weather has led to a significant drop in sightings of early spring wildlife compared with last year, according to reports received from the public by the Woodland Trust’s Nature’s Calendar recording scheme.
Sightings of the common seven-spot ladybird and the peacock butterfly have been notably sparse in the North of England and in Scotland compared with 2012, and records of tree budburst are lagging behind other years, the Woodland Trust said.